The No. 25 Thunderbird football team won their fourth consecutive game on Saturday afternoon in Greeley, Colorado, knocking off the Northern Colorado Bears 27-14.
With the victory the Thunderbirds have moved to 6-2 and 4-1 in the Big Sky Conference. The 6-2 mark secures a winning season for the Thunderbirds for the third-consecutive season. This is the first time in the history of the program that SUU has had three winning seasons in a row.
“That’s huge,” SUU head coach Demario Warren said about the accomplishment. “When I went into the interview process I said I want to create a winning program here, and I want to be sure our program takes the next step. I thought we were able to beat anybody in the country any given week, but we weren’t able to win year after year no matter what the schedule was, so being able to do that and continue the legacy that Ed Lamb started here really means a lot to me and I hope it means a lot to the coaches and players that have been in this program.”
The Thunderbirds wasted little time getting things going, as Bishop Jones forced a fumble on the Bears’ opening drive to put the Thunderbirds in prime position. Patrick Tyler took advantage of the play, as he ran into the endzone from 31 yards away to put the Thunderbirds up 6-0.
The Thunderbirds would strike once more before the end of the first quarter, as Jay Green Jr. followed Fesi Vaa’ivaka into the endzone from two yards out to build the lead to 13-0.
After a UNC touchdown just about seven minutes into the second quarter, the Thunderbirds put their third touchdown on the board with five minutes remaining in the opening half when Tyler found Logan Parker from nine yards out. That put the T-Birds up 20-7, which was the score going into halftime.
The Bears scored on their opening drive in the third quarter, but the Thunderbirds were able to counter a little later in the same frame with a 13-yard pass from Tyler to Cameron Chambers to put the T-Birds up 27-14. This was Chambers’ first touchdown of the 2017 campaign.
Despite some opportunities in the fourth quarter, neither team was able to get on the board and the T-Birds prevailed 27-14.
Tyler threw for 294 yards and two touchdowns for the Thunderbirds on 21 completions. He also ran for 34 yards and broke into the endzone with his legs.
“Whenever you can win six games and have a winning season that’s great for the program,” Tyler said following the game. “It’s great for everybody, we put in a lot of hard work and we deserve it.”
James Felila had a huge game on the ground, running the ball 23 times for 126 yards. Jay Green Jr. broke into the endzone on the ground as well for the T-Birds.
Tyler’s top target was Logan Parker, who caught four passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Taylor Nelson had 10 tackles to lead the team, with 1.5 tackles for loss. Chance Bearnson had two sacks on Saturday to lead the team in that category.
“We got a win which is what we needed to do,” Nelson said.
The Thunderbirds will return home next weekend for a matchup with the Fighting Hawks of North Dakota in a game scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m.
Tickets for SUU’s next game against North Dakota can be purchased at tbirdtickets.com or at the America First Event Center Ticket Office.
SUU Athletic Strategic Communications